Rauw Alejandro: “De Carolina” Track Review

on his new album Saturn, Rauw Alejandro takes reggaeton into the future as he explores his childhood past in Puerto Rico, recaptures his childhood nickname Rauleeto, and embraces ’90s freestyling and Miami bass. In the 90s, Alejandro hid from his mother to secretly listen to DJ Playero, the ancestor of reggaeton whose mixtapes sounded like soundtracks to clandestine parties when music was criminalized on the island. Alejandro brings his hero on board in “De Carolina,” a monstrous and bizarre ode to his hometown. “We are from Carolina and we come virao”, the track erupts a fast-paced sample of the sandpiper 38 mixtape. Playero’s sweat-soaked dembow rhythms are fueled by Alejandro’s elegant electronic touch: bubbling synths, static explosions and pulsing baseline. “De Carolina” is a braggadocious celebration of reggaeton’s roots that also cements Alejandro’s own legacy in the evolving sound of Puerto Rico.

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